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Travelling with Chaplin

  • Midlands Art Centre (map)

Filmmaker Surjit Simplay has been a Charlie Chaplin fan since she was a kid, and when evidence emerged that Chaplin was born not in the East End but in a caravan in Smethwick's Black Patch Park, cogs began to turn.

The result was Gypsy Boy, a short film she made last summer in the park itself with Chaplin's son Michael in the lead role. As well as sharing her film today, Simplay will be exploring the historic importance of Black Patch Park for the traveller community with special guests Ron Collins (chair, Friends of Black Patch Park) and John Loveridge, a descendant of Queen Henty who owned the caravan in question.

The event will close with a screening of Chaplin's 1921 breakthrough classic The Kid, his first full-length film as a director which co-stars Jackie Cooganas the eponymous scallywag.

Presented in association with Screen Central.